Category Archives: Tips for Homebuyers

Should you renovate before listing your house?

I have been researching 10-12 zip codes in the Atlanta metro area for the last few weeks. The market obviously slowed down because of the holidays but there were a few homes that sold over the break. It gave me a chance to analyze the market.

I noticed that the homes that have been completely renovated, from top to bottom, seem to sit a bit longer than the other homes that haven’t been recently renovated (but are still in good condition). This indicates that it is possible to overbuild in certain situations.

If you are going to renovate in order to yield a higher offer, renovate your home in such a way that the design is modest and not too chic. Homebuyers seem to still love a home that is beautiful but slightly homey. However, don’t underbuild your kitchen. Kitchens with a modern and sophisticated design will always sell.


Are Atlanta Homes Sizzling or Fizzling?

There are a lot of interesting properties on the Atlanta market right now. In the heart of the city, near Buckhead, properties have an asking price of $200+ per square feet. A short distance away from the city, $170 per square feet is the usual asking price for a completely renovated place.  And in other zip codes, like 30331, you get get a huge house for $70 per square feet.

So how do you choose which area? Assuming the schools are decent in the lower priced areas, research homes that are ten years older than the house you are considering. If those homes are competing well against new homes, then you may have found the perfect area.

One of the other key things to consider when buying a home are obviously the comps, but also evaluate the current listings. How many views does each listing get? How long has it been on the market? How many times has the seller relisted or changed the asking price? If the listing shows how many people have favored it, does it get 10% of the viewers to star it?

The ones that have buyers showing real interest are the type of homes that resell quickly. If European or Mediterranean or traditional homes show higher behavioral rates than others, be sure to consider those types of home first.


How to Get a 7-Year Mortgage

7-year mortgages, are they possible nowadays? Yes of course. Here’s why.

The average family or individual moves every 5-7 years. This reality screams for the need to create another viable road to home ownership. Currently, there are only two methods: buy it with cash or go through a bank. There needs to be another option that matches today’s current trends.

Plum Genius is sensitive to long-term renting situations. We want to abolish them. So we created a program that makes it easier and frankly, gives you a lot of motivation, to stay still for at least 7 years. Participating in the program gives you a way to become rent and/or mortgage free for most of your life. Even if you move after the program concludes, you can sell your place and become an all cash buyer with your next residential purchase.

Apply for one of our properties at If you qualify, make a bid for the monthly payment and if you win, you can move into a beautiful house or condo with no down payment. Just a security deposit. We’re serious. Are you?

The Black Friday of Real Estate

Do you look forward to Black Friday? I didn’t but now, every since I have been teased intensely about my outdated television, I’m gearing up for it.

Makes you wonder if there are any Black Friday real estate deals out there. There are. You have to know how to handle it. The first thing you do is look in the auction section of the paper or on auction websites. If they require all cash, no problem. There’s a way to make it happen.

This method is a bit risky but only if you don’t do your homework.

1. Find a house that doesn’t need any work done. Many of the auctions have fixer uppers, but sometimes you can find one that wasn’t vandalized or was taken care of.

2. Then, you go get pre-approved from a bank.

3. Next, you go to a hard money lender. They require you to have 30% down for them to cut you a cashier’s check, but there are some out there that won’t take the money. They just want to know its in the bank.

4. When you win an auction, make sure you only bid 70% or less of the comps (in the same neighborhood).

5. Then, you pay the hard money lender their fee, probably about $10,000, and you finalize the loan with your bank.

The bank transfers the money to the hard money lender and you just saved 30% on your real estate purchase. The sticky part is to make sure you have enough cash for the down payment. Negotiate with the hard money lender for buyer-friendly terms. Maybe they won’t require you to write them a check for 30%.

Now it’s really Black Friday! Walmart can’t offer you that big of a deal. Be careful though. Investors say this is a viable option but only if you play it smart.

It’s Time to Get a Great Deal

It’s the busiest time of the year for almost everyone except real estate agents. If you are considering moving, now is the time to do it. The competition is limited and you should be able to get your offer accepted.

Here are some easy tips.

1. Visit the houses that have been on the market the longest. Some of those homes are exceptional.

2. Call the agent to see if you can easily get in to see the house. If the agent is eager to let you see it, that’s a very good sign.

3. Place an offer. Try making an offer for 5% below the asking price. You may be surprised at the response.

Good luck!


How To Make an Offer On a House

When calling an agent or seller to make an offer, make sure you don’t sound excited. This might be common sense, but you really want to play it cool.

If the agent says, “I have a lot of offers on this one.” Say, great! That means you won’t pressure me to go over my price (hehe). If your agent calls for you, let them know that you don’t want to be intimidated. If it doesn’t happen, so what.

Overbid for the house only if you really want it. The truth is, you may not need to. Just know that about half of the offers agents receive are not over asking. The other buyers may have strong credentials, but they may not. Only 30% of the offers are made from cash buyers. Besides, you really want to base your decision on the current rate the houses in that area are selling for per square foot.

Try to have at least 1 or 2 other houses on your list. Desperation can be sensed a mile away. If you don’t get this one, you’ll get the next one. About 5 million houses are sold per year. One of those has to be the one you want. :)

4 Ways You Can Tell You Picked the Wrong Agent

Here’s a little list of things to look out for when selecting an agent:

1. Your agent doesn’t work weekends.  Yikes.

2. You tell your agent where you want to move, and she says, “Where?” Hard to believe but some agents pretend to be experts in a certain area when they aren’t. :(

3. Your agent asks you for career advice. No kidding, my friend had an agent and she was asking him about how to become an appraiser like him.

4. Finally, your agent doesn’t return your calls promptly. You need someone who really wants your business.

Sign up at our site. We have the perfect platform for you to “date” your agent before actually hiring him/her.